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February 26, 2022 / Posted by:

Wicker Paper Plate Holders!

How the hell could my brain betray me by deleting the extremely important memory of the wicker paper plate holder?! But while skipping through the nostalgia subReddit, I was taken back to the 80s and 90s when my eyes landed on a picture posted by Redditor TacoDoc of a family party staple: the wicker paper plate holder. The wicker paper plate holder took a regular paper plate from basic and boring to casually opulent. Mrs. Russell (shout out for those of us who watch The Gilded Age) didn’t have shit on those parents who really brought the fanciness by serving hot dogs and burgers on a paper plate wrapped in a wicker halo of luxury.

Of course, wicker paper plate holders (or “wicker charger plates” to those up on their dinnerware lingo) are still around today and you can buy new ones. But back in the 80s and 90s, they were regularly used at our backyard parties. My extended family is huge, so during family get-togethers, there were not a lot of places for us to sit and eat. And being a kid, we sure as hell didn’t get a place at any of the tables. So before wicker paper plate holders came along, the kids had to carefully balance our carne asada and rice on a flimsy paper plate on our knees while sitting on a stack of old Yellow Pages in the backyard. But then my mom bought a ton of wicker paper plate holders at the swap meet or Pic ‘N Save (a Dollar Tree type store) and we suddenly became refined ladies and lasses. Here’s another look at these gorgeous wicker gems:

We didn’t only use them for family parties. We used them for regular meals too. And after a while, they fell apart and were covered with dried ketchup and BBQ sauce stains. But really, you didn’t live in the 90s unless you got stabbed with an undone piece of wicker sticking out of a busted-down wicker paper plate holder.

The wicker paper plate holder wasn’t just a gorgeous support system for a paper plate, we also used them as hats while “playing” Road to Avonlea. If my mom didn’t know I was gay before 1990, it was confirmed to her by the sight of a wicker paper plate holder tied to my head with a scarf while being the Felicity King to my friend’s Sara Stanley.

Pic: Attic City

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